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A survey of acute self-reported infections in pregnancy

Abstract

Objective The objective of this study was to estimate the weekly prevalence of self-reported recently acquired infections in women at least 20 weeks pregnant.

Design We conducted a cross-sectional survey of pregnant women in a hospital antenatal clinic in Sydney, Australia between August 2008 and April 2009. Women were asked to report whether they had onset of a new infection in the 7 days before completing the questionnaire, and were asked for details of symptoms and medication taken.

Results 737 women at least 20 weeks pregnant completed the survey (94% of women approached). Five per cent of the completed questionnaires reported the onset of an infection in the 7 days prior to survey completion. When symptoms were analysed, 3.5% of women were classified as having a moderate or severe infection in the past 7 days. The most common infection reported was a cold/upper respiratory tract infection followed by gastroenteritis. Women pregnant with their first child had a lower rate of self-reported infection than women who had other children (2.9% vs 7.2%).

Conclusions These results can be used to inform future research examining acute infection as a trigger for pregnancy complications.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode.

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